Aging Gracefully No. 4 – Creativity-Newness-Productivity “My Toaster Huggee”

It’s So Cute!

Toaster Huggee Black- Bella Stainless-Steel

Truthfully, as I sat in my kitchen in my new space looking at my new Bella Stainless Steel Toaster, I said (out loud) “It’s so cute!”

Next, I thought, “How can I keep air-borne germs, dust, dirt, ants, mosquitoes, flies, spiders, small flying insects, and you know, just whatever from floating into my open toaster slots?” Bam! And the idea was birthed to make a cover that protects only the opening!

My Toaster Huggee

So let me introduce the Toaster Huggee.Toaster Huggee Toaster Cover

If you’re a germaphobe like me, you’re having nightmares about the dust particles and other stuff that can float or fall into an uncovered kitchen counter toaster.  I’ve got a solution for you that will not only keep the germs away, but will add a little style decor to your kitchen. After you’ve paid a pretty penny for your designer toaster – why cover it or put it away in a kitchen cabinet. Display it prominently, accented with my Toaster Huggee. No, it won’t slide off, but will hug metal and stainless-steel toasters.

Innovation!

Toaster Huggee Toaster Covers- Various Colors

I’ve been flooded with new ideas before; Just like when a new song gets in my spirit, if it stays there then I believe I am supposed to do something with it.

Are there enough germaphobes like me who don’t want to cover their stainless steel or metal toasters because they’re cute, and match the kitchen décor? Going for the gusto, in my mind…. probably millions! I need to sell this thing…. right? But that would entail starting from scratch, learning how to sew, what materials to use, and finding out how was it going to adhere to the toaster.

Creativity-Newness-Productivity

Who does this at my age? Me! I do! Creativity, has always been one of my passions. Newness is exciting! I love getting something brand new – who doesn’t?  And Productivity keeps me vibrant, awake, alive, and useful. These attributes are required as we move beyond our sixties passionately. Idleness is boring; retirement is not all it’s cracked up to be. For me, and other sixty-plus year olds, understand pursuing purposeful lives is extremely rewarding.

Toaster Huggee Toaster Cover Side View Blk&White

You’ll find my item on Etsy.com. Currently, I only have four variations for the two-slice metal or stainless-steel toasters. I will be uploading a few more colors this week. All of the items are handmade and are 100% cotton. Some of the fabrics are more lightweight than others, and are durable. These “Toaster Huggees”  toaster covers are washable in cold water with like colors and dry on a low temperature.

I am going for one size fits all, so unless otherwise noted, the Toaster Huggee is 13 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep. If you’d like a size or color made to order, just let me know.

Why is it called a Toaster Huggee? Because it hugs the sides of your toaster and won’t slip off. I know corny, but I love it!

Feedback! Yes, I welcome it. Please, feel free to let it all hang out!

As always, you can respond here on my website or if you’d like to send a personal email, please do so at: thegimragroup@gmail.com.

Purchase the toaster huggee at www.etsy.com!

Be blessed, encouraged, and promote the creativity, newness, and productivity in your life and find the you that is still going strong!

 

Aging Gracefully No. 3 When Does Life Begin?

Supernatural

In the process of aging gracefully, I am continually searching for new ideas and new ways to look at life and how it’s affecting me and I am affecting it. This prompted me to reevaluate my days, thereby giving myself permission to begin each day anew, similar to the concept of being born again. This idea has the flavor of a supernatural phenomenon. A new birth bursting with the aura of freedom; the freedom to begin again and to do it well! When Does Life Begin? Today!

WHEN DOES LIFE BEGINCapture the Essence of Life Beginning Again

The possibilities are endless and are limitless, as we are transformed in the afterbirth of our existence and free to conquer what was impossible the day before. How can this happen? As we are favored and graced with the privilege of the dawning of a new day, we are invited to capture the essence of life beginning again! How mind blowing is that!

All That and More!Celebrate New Birth

Living again—only this time with a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, and foresight to live joyfully with purpose, vision, and thoughtfulness. Last night’s birthing process provided for a readiness to step forward to be the light that shines brightly, hopefully illuminating a righteous and moral path for others worth following.

Live Joyfully

I absolutely love beginning life! It’s fun, rewarding, dynamic, heartbreaking, difficult, sad, compassionate, forgiving, sacrificial, and empowering. Yes! All that and more. When does life begin? Thankfully, it begins with you and me as we are aging gracefully.

Aging Gracefully: Walking Equals Improved Memory & More!

Move, Move, and Move Some More

While this is not a plug for Leslie Sansome walking videos, the morning I decided to get back moving I used one of her one-mile walking videos. I committed to me as part of my continuing weight loss journey to finally add consistent movement to my life.  Although I have a gym membership, it’s been dormant for several months. I was just not motivated to get dress, drive, and then exercise?! That was asking a bit much.  Walking with Leslie by using several different routines on YouTube have been just what my body needed or as some would say just what the doctor ordered.

Forgetfulness Collapsed!

The surprise benefit after a few weeks was improved short-term memory. Yes, often I’d ask myself – if I took my indapamide, a low grade high blood pressure medication and water diuretic pill that day?  Sometimes it would be only a few minutes after I’d just taken it. Boy, did that frustrate me because I didn’t want to take it twice! Most times I would figure it out, but I didn’t want to sit and think about it. And then, one day I noticed it was easier to remember! That was exciting, and it doesn’t take much these days. LOL.

Drug Free: What a Wonderful World

Another surprise. I was convinced I needed to lose at least thirty more pounds before I could stop taking Indapamide and this was my ultimate goal. I’d already eliminated Glimepiride, a low dosage diabetic medication, when I lost my first thirty pounds. Hallelujah! As I continued my quest to lose weight, I found by simply walking with Leslie, I was no longer retaining water, and my blood pressure was okay too! Down with Indapamide! I am now drug free!

Stepping For Fitness

I gifted myself a fitness watch for Christmas and I’ve been monitoring how many steps I walk most days. I try for at least one-mile which is 3,000 steps. My low per day is 3,000 and my highest is 6,000 to 7,000. Haven’t made it to 10,000 steps which is 5 miles, but it’s coming. I enjoy using the fitness watch because it reminds to move, and then I can congratulate myself when I do!  Fantastic motivator! I try to do things, you know, like taking stairs instead of an elevator, and parking far away from an entrance. Something I find a little more enjoyable is walking from one end of a Target, Wal-Mart or mall, you get the picture, to add a few more steps. Just don’t take your debit card!

And the Results Are:

By moving—just a little bit—walking with Leslie a few times per week, I’ve achieved:

  1. Increased short-term memory
  2. Eliminated medication (I am now completely drug free and that’s a blessing!)
  3. Reduced excess water retention

So, walk with me as we continue aging gracefully.

 

 

 

Love: The Good Drug

It’s needful I hold on a bit longer

Until I’m ready to say goodbye

Whether it’s good for me or not

Ween myself from his love?

But if I quit cold turkey

There’s no detox for broken love

So, I need to love less in miniature increments of time

And then maybe one day I’ll be strong enough to say

Goodbye without remiss; without a tear

But with gladness and good riddance

But right now, I’m hooked on his drug

And today I cannot say

No, I don’t want it this way

Will I always want some

Every now and then to keep me satisfied?

Just a quick hit and that’s it…until next time

Eventually….

I’ll detangle and break free

Village of Calumet Park, IL: South Suburban Treasure

As a Village of Calumet Park resident since 2013, and having previously missed the previous Annual Community Day Parades, I decided last Saturday, August 5, 2017 it was not going to happen. The signs read 9 to 11 am for the parade; therefore, I reluctantly turned over in bed and got up around 8 am, determined not to miss the event. However, when I arrived at 127th street, I didn’t see a soul! First thought was, “Oh, are we on CP time?” (If you don’t know what CP means then ask somebody.) So I hung around a little longer, but after thirty minutes I thought, “Am I missing something everyone else knows?”

Then I remembered a message left on my cell phone from the Village, it was one I didn’t bother with. So I pulled out my phone, listened to the message, and sure enough the parade officially started at 10:00 am. So I was an hour early! I hate being too early, and not being one to sit idle for long, I decided to run an errand, thinking  I could probably catch the parade near the end of its route around 10:30 am.

 Village of Calumet Park Community Day Parade

 

Not sure if I ended up on Bishop or Throop, but I found a great spot and was happy to see Calumet Park residents out and about looking forward to enjoying the parade. We were not disappointed as several community dance troupes came through with some amazing routines. Check out this short video clip https:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvuPYeUJkfM

I heard great music, took picture of the participants and was surprised at how many folks participated in the parade! I love parades and this one was as good as many I’ve seen. Several bands marched in the parade, it was quite impressive.

Calumet Park: A Place to Live Work and Play

I met a resident who said she’d been living there since she was four years old. Her parents moved to the Village over 45 years ago, and she decided later as an adult to purchase her own home and raise her family. We both discussed the diversity of the community, the racial makeup when she first moved there and the current one. She spoke very positive about a growing community. Calumet Park has a few of its old residents, but what’s great are the incoming residents over the past decade. A community made up of Hispanic, Black, White, and several other ethnicities reflecting the diversity of this country.

About Calumet Park

Calumet Park is a Chicago south suburban community offering an excellent school district for its families. This small community offers Burr Oak Academy, Burr Oak Elementary, and Calumet Elementary School. While it doesn’t have its own high school, as a resident Alan B. Shepard High School, Dwight D. Eisenhower High School, and Harold L. Richards High School are potential options. This alone is very attractive to parents who are looking for good schools and options from private school tuition.  Want to learn more? Please visit the village website at, http://www.calumetparkvillage.org/

The Village of Calumet Park retains its sense of community and definitely is reminiscent of a small town feel, with several generations of families making it feel like family. Mayor Ronald Denson, of course, was out as usual during the parade, walking the course, greeting everyone, and taking photos.

Mayor Denison-Maddy B

People make neighborhoods special, and great people make neighborhoods great. Don’t hesitate to make or call the Village of Calumet Park home! I do!

 

 

CHICAGO BEVERAGE TAX: ONE CENTS TOO MUCH

What are Rahm, Preckwinkle, and Chicago’s elected aldermen thinking? They should be paying people to stay in Chicago, not running them out. Really???!!!

Chicago’s Beverage Tax

Soda TaxDo you really think folks are going to stop drinking Pepsi? Heck No! (Okay I wanted to say something stronger.) But they will go to neighboring suburbs to purchase their soda instead.

I gave up soda a few years ago. Too much high fructose corn syrup can destroy your health, and most artificial sweeteners, especially aspartame can too. I can’t even fix my mouth to consume anything with 50 grams of sugar per serving, but that’s neither here nor there, or the real issue here. I will buy Kool-Aid and Domino sugar before I pay one-cents per ounce for tea, soda, and any beverage that has this ridiculous tax attached to it!

Stop Drinking Soda Pop? Don’t Be Ridiculous

And Preckwinkle sounds foolish trying to justify the tax, saying Chicagoans will suddenly stop drinking Pepsi? Are you kidding me? Have crack addicts stop taking crack? Have alcoholics stop drinking booze? Have people stopped smoking cigarettes? Aren’t folks still dying of heroin overdoses? Stop already.

Dang (again, I wanted to use something stronger) Chicagoans are already paying a 7 cents tax on bags in retail locations. It’s hilarious seeing folks walk to their cars with shopping carts and arms full of un-bagged groceries.  But I get it! It’s not that folks don’t have 7 cents, it’s the principal of the thing.

7 Cents Bag Tax; Red Light Cameras

The nation is hearing about Chiraq being the murder capital of the world, and now it can also go down in history as the tax capital of the world. Rahm, just how much of a burden are you going to ask Chicago citizens to bear? Not to mention the income tax hike recently approved  for Illinois.

We’ve got the freaking (okay, once again would like to have said something stronger) red light cameras at every intersection in poor urban areas (well, okay I am exaggerating-a bit) assessing exorbitant fees on drivers who can least afford it. Pretty soon, folks won’t be able to afford to drive in Chicago. Is that what the city wants?

Adios Amigos!

IndianaI am already considering moving to Indiana, and staying close enough to the border to still visit Chicago when I need to. Folks already travel to Indiana to buy cigarettes, gas and other items. Go ahead Chicago politicians and make it so that your residents buy as much as they can outside the city limits. Kinda defeats the purpose for all those taxes, including the Chicago Beverage Tax.

And are Chicago’s children who are attending poorly funded schools going to see a drop of this new tax revenue? Heck no!! Couple these tragedies with what’s going on in Washington and it’s a prescription for despair, disaster, and stress.

Say Something! – I’m Giving Up on You

Say somethingNormally, I try not to listen to the news because lately it’s just one horrid story after another, which makes it difficult for me to retain my sanity. So I apologize, I don’t listen every day, but somehow the garbage filters in anyway.

  • People! Say something! Do something
  • Don’t buy soda in Chicago!
  • Drink Kool-Aid
  • Make lemonade
  • Buy the thing-a-ma-jig from Target and make your own soda.
  • Bring your own bags to the grocery stores

Some Times Eye

 

I (eye) can be introverted and extroverted

Compassionate or unfeeling

Influential and yet powerless

Self-centered yet thinking of others more than myself, realizing it’s not about me

 

Crowd

I can be very approachable or very reserved

I can appreciate a crowd, yet cherish being with myself

 

Chameleon

I can be all things to all people (once describe as a chameleon)

Yet I can be happily “just me”

My diversity seems to be my undoing

My inconsistencies seem to work against me rather than for me

It’s difficult to find and maintain meaningful relationships

Sometimes – I (eye) find myself …….

                            ….. HUNGRY….

Thankfully – G.I.M.R.A.

God Is My Refuge…Always